Treasures in Heaven Matthew 6:19
18 so that your fasting will not be obvious to men, but only to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.…
|May 15, 2017
The Day I Discovered I Was Rich
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6-7 (NIV)
If I were rich, I’d …
Have you ever played that game?
Well, if I were rich I know exactly what I would do. I’d go for a massage every single week. I love them!
When I do get to experience that rare luxury, I walk in expectantly. I know the massage therapist will find knots and kinks I didn’t know I had. She’ll pause over that hurting spot and work on it until I feel relief. She can make my back — aching from a hike or even bending over to pick up a sock — feel strong again.
Most of all, a massage makes me feel nurtured and well.
There was a time when I hurt inside. I was reminded of that recently when I stumbled across an old friend from my school days. She invited me to join her and her husband at dinner. Later that night, we sat around the table enjoying enchiladas and old memories. At one point, she told her husband a story about the angry young girl she remembered from middle school.
It felt odd. Like she was talking about someone else.
And she was.
As I drove home, I couldn’t help but think about the Master’s touch on my life.
I don’t need to play a game of “If I were rich,” because I am rich. I am the recipient of the “incomparable riches of his grace” Paul talked about in Ephesians 2:6-7. God’s love worked out the knots and kinks of anger that used to live inside of me.
He made me whole, both spiritually and emotionally.
Rather than being bound by my past, His healing touch led me to show compassion for others hurting in the same way.
It set me free to tell others how His touch soothed the rough edges of my heart. It set me free to celebrate how He worked out the knots of unforgiveness and helped me to stand strong for the first time.
Do you need the Master’s touch today? His faithful love nurtures us and makes us well.
I pray you invite Him in to those hurting places and allow His unfailing love to gently touch and heal you. God is waiting to nurture you, simply because you are His.
If you’ve been made whole, you don’t have to play the “If I were rich” game ever again, for you are rich beyond measure. Why don’t you take a moment and tell someone how rich you are — all because of the Master’s touch.
Heavenly Father, if I’ve taken Your healing touch for granted, forgive me. I am rich because of Your mercy. I am blessed because of Your touch, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
From: Our Daily Bread
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:8
As a toddler, my son Xavier enjoyed giving me flowers. I appreciated every freshly picked weed or store-bought blossom he purchased with his dad. I treasured each gift until it wilted and had to be thrown away.
One day, Xavier gave me a beautiful bouquet of artificial flowers. He grinned as he arranged the silk white calla lily, yellow sunflower, and purple hydrangea in a glass vase. “Look, Mommy,” he said. “They’ll last forever. That’s how much I love you.”
Since then, my boy has grown into a young man. Those silk petals have frayed. The colors have faded. Still, the Forever Flowers remind me of his adoration. And there is something else it brings to mind—one thing that truly stands forever—the limitless and lasting love of God, as revealed in His infallible and enduring Word (Isa. 40:8).
As the Israelites faced continual trials, Isaiah comforted them with confidence in God’s enduring words (40:1). He proclaimed that God paid the debt caused by the Israelites’ sin (v. 2), securing their hope in the coming Messiah (vv. 3–5). They trusted the prophet because his focus remained on God rather than their circumstances.
In a world filled with uncertainties and affliction, the opinions of man and even our own feelings are ever-shifting and as limited as our mortality (vv. 6–7). Still, we can trust God’s unchanging love and character as revealed through His constant and eternally true Word.
God affirms His love through His dependable and unchanging Word, which endures now and forevermore.
The Holy Other
From: Our Daily Journey
Each Sunday my local church begins our service with a call to worship—a song declaring that we gather to proclaim God’s goodness and beauty. As we sing, we’re also affirming that we live as citizens of His kingdom. Although during most of the worship we encourage people to choose their own posture, in this opening song we always ask our people to stand. We want to open the service conscious of standing in God’s presence, reverently honoring the One who’s other than us.
Moses had a similar experience of awareness that he was in the presence of God. After fleeing Egypt, Moses had been tending his father-in-law’s flocks in the Midian desert for decades. On one occasion, Scripture reveals that Moses “led the flock far into the wilderness.” He was also far from his home, people, and from where he would have expected to be at this stage in his life (Exodus 3:1). God, however, was not far away—He was very near.
Alone, Moses glimpsed a flash of fire and turned to see a “bush . . . engulfed in flames,” only the flaming bush “didn’t burn up” (Exodus 3:2). As Moses drew close, “God called to him from the middle of the bush.” Likely with a voice that was quavering, Moses said, “Here I am!” (Exodus 3:4).
“ ‘Do not come any closer,’ the Lord warned. ‘Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of . . . Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ ” Struck with awe, Moses “covered his face because he was afraid to look at God” (Exodus 3:5-6).
Of course Moses was afraid! If we were to stand before God Almighty and not quiver, something would be wrong. God is love, but there should be moments in our life where our encounter with Him—the holy One who is other—leaves us trembling and in awe.